Milwaukee fast food workers took action last Wednesday calling attention to poverty wages and poor working conditions. Hundreds of workers from fast food and retail stores including Burger King, McDonald’s, Popeye’s and Dollar Tree walked off the job in solidarity in the fight for $15 an hour and a union.
Tessie Harrell, a mother of six who has worked at Burger King for five years explained, “If we don’t stand up today we are always going to be on the downfall. We work hard for $7.25 and we are standing together to say we are worth more. We need to pay our bills; we need to take care of our children. I’m not just out here for me. I’m out here for all of us to speak for the people who are too afraid to speak for themselves.”
Workers were joined by faith leaders and community supporters in a day of action to speak out for income inequality and living wages for all workers.
Reverend Willie Brisco, Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope, reassured workers that God was on their side as they took action Wednesday. “This is not a political issue, this is a moral issue. What you are doing today is economically sound, spiritually sound, and morally sound.”
Rev. Brisco referenced scripture Deuteronomy 24:14: "You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.
Community members and religious groups walked striking workers back to work on Thursday to ensure workers were not retaliated against for their protected action.